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Reckless Angel by Jane Feather

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A wonderful, well-researched historic romance with an age-gap frisson.

Reckless Angel deserves a far better blurb than the vague, generically florid one here. It’s a surprisingly interesting and moving book set in a very eventful historical era (English Civil War/Roundheads vs Cavaliers).

Fifteen-year-old Henrietta “Harry” Drummond is rescued by 29- year-old widower Sir Daniel Drummond. He ends up marrying her partly to save her from her abusive father and being sold in matrimony to some horrible elderly man.

As the civil war intensifies and King Charles is execute, they travel to the Netherlands and then to Spain, seeking support from foreign powers. The ending is perhaps a little unrealistic and over-dramatic, but still, it’s an exciting read and nice to see the damsel-in-distress theme completely inverted!

In terms of the erotic content of the book: the sex is very realistic because it’s not instant heights of passion from the get-go. In fact it takes a good while for the couple to get that side of things sorted out. There’s a touching and believable defloration scene on the wedding night.

All in all a sensual and romantic story, full of adventure and period detail. It’s nice to see how Daniel eventually comes round to realising that he can’t expect to control or curb his young wife’s spiritedness but instead embraces it. The only thing I would have liked would have been a happier ending for his sister.